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The I in ICMC is also is the I in IBMA

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Nancy CardwellThe I in ICMC is also is the I in IBMA and I stands for "International." ICMC is the International Country Music Conference and IBMA is the International Bluegrass Music Association. Both are International, both are music and both are country roots related. There is often a great overlap with bluegrass and country music. One of the upcoming presentations for 2012 will be by IBMA's Nancy Cardwell which will deal with a significant topic "Yonder Mountain String Band, 12 Years and We're Still Dancing." YMSB is significant in the ongoing Bluegrass community discussions dealing with the parameters of Bluegrass known informally as WIBA or, more precisely, "What Is Bluegrass Anyway?"

Cardwell indicates that "the unassuming Colorado quartet of twenty-something friends who met in 1998 and put a band together because they wanted to play some bluegrass, is one of the biggest success stories in the history of the genre to date. On August 20 they filled the 9,450-seat Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, with the help of special guests Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters." Red Rocks Amphitheater is just west of Denver.

Dr. Leland Turner of Southwestern Oklahoma State University spent time in Australia and it will show in his ICMC 2012 presentation "The Indigenous Roots of Australian Country Music." Turner's presentation will referenced in later ICMC eblurbs, but he will assert Australian country is a "unique indigenous art form rooted in...rural culture informed by old country folk culture and Aboriginal traditions." Turner will also establish the influence of U.S. country music in Australia.

Jim Clark will be elaborating on a topic that Curt Ellison brought to print and to ICMC. Clark will be dealing with "Donald Davidson's The Big Ballad Jamboree: A Literary View of the Origins of Modern Country Music." Clark indicates that he will "explore the interesting and provocative questions about folk authenticity and its modern commercialization and commodification the novel raises."

Larry Aaron has submitted a proposal dealing with the country classic "The Wreck of the Old 97." Aaron's session titled "The Wreck of the Old 97: Legend vs Reality" will include a "14 verse composite that originates from the ballad's earliest versions" as well as discussing "the ten year court case over copyright" and analyze the "ballad's importance to the country music industry."

Tony Lis of South Dakota State University continues to 'mine' the deep 'vein' of 'gold' related to guitarists who worked with Jimmie Rodgers. Lis's proposal "San Antonio Steel: The Life and Career of Charles Kama Valera" continues Lis's significant line of research. Lis indicates that he will "discuss the life of Hawaiian born steel guitarist Charles Kama" who is "best-known for backing Jimmie Rodgers on three sides in San Antonio in January 1931 including T. B. Blues and Jimmie The Kid."

Over the years, ICMC has covered a great deal of bluegrass music and its history. ICMC solicits proposals in all disciplines related to all aspects of the history and contemporary status of Country Music. ICMC broadly defines Country Music to include variants from Old Time Country, Cajun, Cowboy, Western Swing, and the Nashville Sound to Bluegrass, Honky Tonk, Country Rock, New Traditionalist, Hot New Country, Alternative Country, and the country music tradition in countries outside the United States. Proposals on the educational applications of Country Music from Kindergarten through the collegiate curriculum are also welcome. ICMC is truly international with papers having been presented by scholars from Australia, Canada the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Next year's 29th annual International Country Music Conference (ICMC) will be held beginning Thursday 24 May through Saturday 26 May 2012 in the Frist Lecture Hall of the Gordon E. Inman Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee at the south end of Music Row. The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) provides scholars an opportunity to share their work in all aspects of country music. ICMC broadly defines country music to include variants which share common historical and cultural roots ranging from Americana, Alt Country, Bluegrass, Cajun, Country Rock, Crossover, and Honky Tonk to the Nashville Sound, New Traditionalist, Old Time Country, and Western Swing. ICMC is truly international with scholars from Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom participating.

The 2011 conference held in May featured Dr. Tom Adler on "Bill Monroe's Decision to Buy The Brown County Jamboree", Craig Havighurst ICMC Keynote on "Bluegrass Nation: Purpose, Scope and Issues" and Karen Raizor continues with her Homer and Jethro emphasis with a proposal titled "Another 'Lady Chatterley's Lover': The Battle of The Battle of Kookamonga."

The Call For Proposals is available on line. You may use it or simply mail your proposal to James Akenson at Although the official deadline was Friday, 21 October 2011 we prefer to receive proposals in advance of the deadline. As mentioned in the previous ICMC eblurb, we are already receiving some first class proposals from ICMC friends with great track records of well crafted, stimulating presentations.

The ICMC web site ( has been updated to reflect ICMC 2012 dates. Picts of the 2011 Belmont and Charlie Lamb Award honorees are now posted plus ICMC 2011 presenters and attendees might see their likenesses in the ICMC 2011 gallery.

Speaking of registration, Dave Sichack of deserves a special 'shout-out' recognizing him as THE FIRST person to register for ICMC 2012! First rate Dave!! Dave won't win the "Came The Longest Distance" Award for ICMC 2012 since Payman Rezwan is already committed to being with us, but we'll think of some modest recognition.

Please keep in mind that you may also make proposals or suggestions related to an ICMC 2012 panel or keynote topic. Also, we are always open to input as to what might be done to improve ICMC.

Again for ICMC 2012, the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt will be the official ICMC hotel. We will be receiving the contract shortly. As usual, there will be a block of rooms set aside at an attractive rate with access to the Holiday Inn shuttle as well as access to socializing and riding to and from Belmont with fellow ICMC attendees.

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